Nearly two decades after it was shuttered, a naval housing property in San Pedro was finally set to be razed Thursday to make way for a long-planned residential development of new single-family homes and condominiums.
Ponte Vista, the much-debated project, will be built on the site of what became an eyesore in the Harbor Area community. On Western Avenue, housing for families connected to the Long Beach Naval Station, which closed in 1994, remained vacant and decaying.
Families who grew up in the naval housing said it was an emotional time — both seeing the property neglected and now seeing their homes demolished in preparation for the construction of 676 Ponte Vista homes.
The Los Angeles City Council approved Ponte Vista in March after years of debate over what should be done with the hilly, 62-acre property. Many San Pedrans fiercely opposed an earlier proposal to build 2,300 units on the land.
At a groundbreaking Wednesday, the first of the remaining hundreds of abandoned Navy homes was crushed by a bulldozer commanded by Councilman Joe Buscaino, who represents the area.
Buscaino touted the reduced size of the project, saying the development would fulfill plans to “beautify” the “blighted area.” The developer’s representative said “a lot of research” had gone into the project to meet the community’s needs.
Developer iStar Financial plans to build a 2.4-acre public park on the property, along with bike and hiking trails, according to a news release from Buscaino.
KTLA’s Jim Nash contributed to this article.